0 out of 6
Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC
One week is Southeast Asia. The following week is central Texas.
The UFC followed up last Saturday’s pay-per-view event in Singapore with a jaunt 10,000 miles east for a rare Fight Night spectacle away from its home in Las Vegas.
Austin’s Moody Center hosted what turned out to be a 13-fight card that lost its co-main event on the morning of the show when veteran lightweight Joe Lauzon pulled out with a knee injury. apparently suffered at Friday’s weigh-in.
The 38-year-old, inactive since 2019, was scheduled to face fellow OG Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone but took to Instagram on Saturday morning to break the news of the cancellation.
“The weirdest, weirdest thing ever,” he said. “I’m officially weighing myself, I’m fine. … I’m going to put my socks on, I’m turning my knee and my knee is locking. … I’m trying not to make a scene and let people know I have a problem with my knee.
“Finally I jumped on the back of one of my cornerman, acted like I was smothering him like we were joking… but I couldn’t stand. I couldn’t walk at the time- the.”
A bantamweight bout matching Adrian Yanez and Tony Kelley was elevated from the preliminary card to maintain a six-fight main show that was headlined by world-class featherweights Calvin Kattar and Josh Emmett.
The announce team of Brendan Fitzgerald, Daniel Cormier and Dominick Cruz handled blow-by-blow and analysis for the ESPN broadcast, and Megan Olivi worked the rest of the room for reporting and breaking news.
It was only the third Fight Night show of 2022 away from Apex facilities and the first since a visit to Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio in late March.
1 of 6
Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC
It was a difficult act to follow.
On a card that had seen nine finishes and eight knockouts, including six in the first round, it would have been difficult for Kattar and Emmett to top what had already happened.
So while the featherweights combined to land 237 significant strikes in 25 minutes, and each ended the fight swollen and bleeding, it wasn’t the same.
After all, one more knockout would have set a record for a UFC card.
And it didn’t help that the judging was a bit questionable too.
In the end, seventh-ranked contender Emmett won a split decision over his fourth-ranked opponent, winning a pair of 48-47 nods (3-2 in rounds) to offset a 48-47 dissenter. for Katar.
The B/R scorecard agreed with the minority and had it 48-47 for Kattar, who landed 130 significant strikes to Emmett’s 107, including a 75-43 margin over the final two rounds.
“I thought I won,” Emmett said. “I thought I had it 4-1, actually.”
The Arizona native and California resident continued most of the fight and tended to do better in rounds where he was more active. He was particularly effective in rounds 2 and 3 while keeping busy and forcing Kattar back while throwing powerful punches, but he appeared to be hit with a bloody cut to his left eye in rounds 4 and 5.
It was his ninth win in 11 UFC fights since 2016 and 18th in 20 fights as a pro.
And that prompted him to speak directly to Dana White in a post-fight interview with Cormier to campaign for bigger events at 145 pounds.
“Dana, give me a chance,” he said. “I believe I deserve it.
“Calvin Kattar was ranked fourth, and look at the guys he’s fought. It’s going to be a big featherweight fight in two weeks, and I’ll be at ringside to see who I have next. [Max] Holloway and [Alexander] Volkanovski are two of the best featherweights of all time. All respect to them. But I can do it.”
2 out of 6
Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC
Maybe he should have been welterweight all along.
Fort Worth resident Kevin Holland made his second appearance at 170 pounds since moving up from middleweight and was successful for the second time in a row, punishing rugged foe Tim Means before finishing him off with a chokehold. ‘arce in the second round.
It was his 23rd victory in 31 professional fights, his first submission victory in six fights and perhaps the most comprehensive effort against a qualified opponent since his UFC debut in 2018.
“He looked great,” Cruz said. “Holland was amazing tonight.
“Very professional. A great performance.”
Three months into his weight class debut against Alex Oliveira, Holland was quicker and more nimble than his 38-year-old opponent while lining him up with fast, accurate strikes.
He fended off Means’ attempts to take the fight to the ground in the first round, then dropped the Oklahoma native to his knees with a punch early in the second.
From there, he isolated Means left arm, locked his own right arm around Means neck and pulled the tap at 1:28.
“Two wins at welterweight, both in the second round,” Holland said.
“I have to give you a first round. I think I can submit anyone in the world, to be honest. We’re not slowing down, we’re speeding up.”
3 out of 6
Carmen Mandato/Getty Images
Sometimes it’s a knockout of the year. Sometimes it’s a beating.
But make no mistake, Joaquin Buckley likes it anyway,
The brawny middleweight took the latter route for a third straight victory on Saturday’s main card, beating former sparring partner Albert Duraev with heavy punches until his Russian foe was prevented from continuing by the stoppage of a doctor at the start of the third round.
“He’s known for the first one and did it. This time it was volume,” Cruz said.
“He’s the best he’s looked in all his fights.”
The win took Buckley to 15-4 as a pro and 5-2 in the UFC and was his 11th win by knockout.
It came five fights and 20 months after a viral Impa Kasanganay finish on Fight Island, but was just as effective as Duraev’s left eyelid was horribly swollen, and his right cheekbone was also cut and swollen thanks to precise left hands. and high kicks.
Buckley landed 30 strikes in 10 minutes, dropped Duraev twice with punches and successfully defended seven of nine takedown attempts. The former allies were controversial at Friday’s weigh-in and kept the tension going before the fight, but embraced afterward.
“This is war. We’re not friends. We’re enemies. Then once the referee stops the fight, we’re brothers,” he said. “I wanted to show off my wrestling defence. I got my butt back and we got back to fighting. We ran a lot (to work on conditioning). Non-stop. Until I couldn’t anymore. go. Hard work. Hard grind.”
4 out of 6
Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC
In a nutshell, Yanez was motivated.
The native Texan received a huge pop from a partisan crowd and immediately used that energy to punish Kelley, who knocked that crowd down during intros and baited him at Friday’s weigh-in.
Additional chatter between the fighters early in their bantamweight matchup did nothing to dampen his aggressiveness on his way to a TKO victory at 3:49 of the first round.
“He started talking shit to me in the middle of the fight and I was like, ‘Nah, I’ll get you for those words,'” Yanez said. “‘I’ll show you how Texans do it.'”
Indeed, the Houston resident worked on Kelley’s kicks and scored well to the head and body with punches. He wobbled Kelley badly with a punctuated right hand combination before sending him to his knees with a left hook to the jaw.
Five more ground strikes followed before referee Kerry Hatley literally dove between the fighters, tripping over Kelley’s prone body in the process, to push Yanez back.
It was Yanez’s fifth straight win since joining the promotion after a stint on Dana White’s Contender Series in 2020 and his first fight away from the Apex facility in Las Vegas.
He landed 36 of 68 attempted strikes (53%) and improved to 16-3 with 12 finishes.
“He’s good,” Cormier said. “What can you say? The kid is really good.”
5 out of 6
Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC
Maybe they had dinner reservations.
Or maybe they wanted to go back to the hotel to watch golf on TV.
Either way, it was clear that the fighters on Saturday’s preliminary show were eager to handle business without wasting much time.
Five of the seven early card fights ended before their scheduled three-round distance, including four in the first round and three in under 90 seconds.
As expected, highlight knockouts were frequent, with Roman Dolidze stopping Kyle Daukaus with a knee, Ricardo Ramos obliterating Danny Chavez with a back elbow and Jeremiah Wells finishing Court McGee with a shot that Fitzgerald dubbed ” left hook from hell”.
Cody Stamann hit Eddie Wineland with a flurry of hard, flush punches and Phil Hawes was a marathoner by comparison before a late second-round stoppage from Deron Wells came courtesy of a vicious barrage of elbows.
Strawweights Maria Oliveira and Gloria de Paula were the first to go 15 minutes in the fourth fight of the night, won by Oliveira by split decision, and flyweights Jasmine Jasudavicius and Natalia Silva also went the distance before Silva did. wins unanimity on scoreboards.
“(It was) another great moment in my life that I will never forget,” said Ramos, who now has two of five rotational elbow knockouts in UFC history. “After repeating a technique 10,000 times (in training), it becomes one of the best things you can do. I’m still working on it.”
6 out of 6
Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC
Josh Emmett won. Calvin Kattar via split decision (47-48, 48-47, 48-47)
Kevin Holland beats. Tim Means by submission (d’arce choke), 1:28, Round 2
Joaquin Buckley beats. Albert Duraev by TKO (doctor stoppage), 0:10, Round 3
Damir Ismagulov defeated. Guram Kutateladze by split decision (28-29, 29-28, 30-27)
Gregory Rodrigues def., Julian Marquez by KO (punches), 3:18, Round 1
Adrian Yanez defeats. Tony Kelley by TKO (punches), 3:49, Round 1
Natalia Silva defeats. Jasmine Jasudavicius via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)
Jeremiah Wells beats. Court McGee by KO (punch), 1:34, Round 1
Ricardo Ramos defeats. Danny Chavez by KO (elbow spinning back), 1:12, Round 1
Maria Oliveira beats. Gloria de Paula via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Cody Stamann beats. Eddie Wineland by TKO (punches), 0:59, Round 1
Phil Hawes beats. Deron Winn by TKO (elbows), 4:25, Round 2
Roman Dolidze defeated. Kyle Daukaus by KO (knee), 1:13, Round 1